Free Vancouver, BC
WELCOME TO VANCOUVER! THE BORDER CITY WITH PLEASANT TEMPERATURE AND BRUUUTAL ECONOMIC DISPARITY!!!
We as a city pride ourselves as home to some of the richest AND poorest citizens in North America, often separated by only a few block! Our high demand on Canada's socialist system keeps the many drug addicts and the mentally ill on their ass begging change on Hastings street, where they obviously belong!
Separated in to North, East, South, and West districts, Vancouver is home to many different cultures and political leanings.
In East Vancouver, Main Street and Commercial Drive are now trendy areas once known for libertarian style radicalism. The Downtown Eastside is notorious for it's lower-income populous, drug addicts, cheap diners, and bars. Chinatown is adjacent to the downtown eastside, separated primarily by cultural boundaries. It's filled with foreign and sometimes exotic bulk food, more drug addicts, and radical protest groups. Strathcona is a dangerous neighborhood of Vancouver to be in at night. It's short distance from the downtown-eastside neighborhood and removal from the general bustle of the city leaves isolated groups wandering the street late at night, as a result expect muggings.
West Vancouver is known for it's nightlife, but not very useful for anything but upscale fashion and rip-off fast food during the day. It is home to multiple entertainment districts including Gas Town, Yale Town, and Granville Street. Robson Street and the skytrain stations in the West End are popular for buskers due to the lack of required busking license and middle class foot traffic as well.
North Vancouver is a suburban, hilly community. It has a beautiful quay enjoyed by tourists in the day and romantics late at night. It also has some of the best public parks and beaches in Vancouver. The cost of living in North Vancouver is unusually high, so expect to pay more and get less in this neighborhood.
South Vancouver is a suburban sprawl. Finding a cheap place to rent is as easy here as it is in the suburbs outside of Vancouver, as the infrastructure is not well developed. Gangs have been known to frequent this area.
The Downtown Eastside Residents Association at 12 East Hastings offers assistance to shelters, as well as a list of available shelters and low cost housing for free. They are available to resolve any tenancy issues you may have through their advocates, and rent mailboxes and voicemail for a very low monthly cost!
Stanley Park has long been housing to the homeless, some hide out here for years! The park is quite vast, so make sure to stay away from paths as the park is checked semi-regularly, not to mention a tourist trap. The weather in Vancouver is mild, so a tarp and sleeping bag are good enough shelter here.
There are multiple hostels on Granville Street, although they will be full on weekends. Avoid the Cambie and the American Backpackers hostels, as they are loud, infested, and cost more than they're worth.
There are multiple sex clinics available for those appearing to be under 21. They will provide sexual health tests, condoms, and birth control free of charge.
Shooting up drugs isn't advisable but people are going to do it anyways. Vancouver's Insite is currently the first legal supervised drug injection site in North America. It is located at 139 East Hastings Street in the Downtown Eastside. They offer clean needles, a place to inject drugs, medical assistance, and addiction treatment.
If you're not a citizen, you're going to be asked to leave. Otherwise, no good lawyer comes free, but for sentences involving prison time a free lawyer can be given through legal aid. The UBC law students offer free advice through their LSLAP program. Contact them at (604) 822-5791 but keep in mind they only give advice in person and pick up your cases at their discretion.
If you committed a crime for a good cause, contact some of the political organizations about fund raising for a and contacting a lawyer. The anti-Olympic organization and Anti Poverty Committee know some good lawyers and are willing to help out an honest revolutionary. The Anti Poverty Committee headquarters are on Main st between Pender and Keefer. Their doors are open for meetings every Thursday at 4:30PM. State your problem, and maybe help them out with some of theirs! They do food drives and pick up needles every week.
There are a lot of great beaches and parks in Vancouver. A few:
English bay is crowded in the summer during the day. Go at night and you get harassed by drunks and bums. Try Kitsilano Beach instead. Lighthouse Park in North Vancouver has some astounding and infrequently visited views. Transit will take you there from the Londsale Quay. Stanley Park is a tourist trap, and it can be dangerous at night, but its seawall is a nice place to go for a jog along the Fraser River.
The Vancouver Art Gallery runs a by-donation admission every Wednesday. For some world-class art done cheap, go visit. The last Friday of every month hosts "FUSE", an all night party at the art gallery. Some interesting people will still be around after the bars all close.
If you want to drink legally, you only have to be 19, although you'll soon find out beer is pretty expensive here. The cheapest you'll get it at a bar is $3/pint in the slums. Granville street is where the upper-class go to drink and dine with guidos and bums. The cops hang out there on weekends, so try to avoid any suspicious activity there if you've got a warrant.
The two main border crossings between BC and the United States are off the I-5 interstate. With identification, a clean cut look, and a reasonable story, you can make it through these borders without much of a hassle. Tell them you're going to meet a friend in Coquitlam, Burnaby, or NewWestminster, as these are suburbs that would lend credibility to your clean-cut story. Do not tell police you are going to Surrey, Langley, or East Vancouver, as these areas are known for drug trafficking and refugees.
There are many people in Vancouver and its surrounding areas who are of foreign ethnicity. Some do not speak English. Treat them with respect, many are upper-middle class people and will probably own your place of employment, house, etc. Also, ethnic pride runs very deep in Vancouver, resulting in street gangs running along ethnic values.
First nations people are Canada's hated minority. They're stereotyped as violent, dangerous, stupid and alcoholic this societal isolation might be useful if you need protection from the pigs.
The bus drivers are sometimes kind enough to give transfers or at least a free ride if asked. Do not get on the skytrain without a transfer-if the train is checked by police (which occurs on a semi-regular basis) and you are without proof of fare, they will do a background check and add a ticket of $173 to your name.
If you're going to be in Vancouver for a while, a book of tickets can be purchased at most corner stores, which will make transfers more cost-effective. Figure out how many zones you cross on a regular basis before purchase.
Transfers are $2.50 within Vancouver, but go up to $3.75 and then $5 to get to surrounding suburbs. All tickets are only $2.50 after 6:30pm.
All night buses run from Hornby and Georgia Street every night after 1am.
Free Clothing and Furniture
The Gathering Place off Granville and Homer have lots of free clothes to give to those in need. A church on Gore and Powell has free clothing every once in a while. Craigslist offers a lot of options regardless of the city you're in, but its particularly effective in Vancouver. Vancouver's consignment and thrift stores are known to have many cheap and fashionable items. One of the consignment stores on Main and 10th gives away it's unfashionable and unsold clothing in a box outside the store. Salvation Army has a thrift store on Broadway and Value Village has two locations on Commercial, one at hastings and the other at 47th.
There are free daily large circulation papers like the Metro and the 24 that repeat headlines from larger newspapers and write gossip. Many of their editorial pieces are actually advertisements for the companies that own the paper. The classified section is full of job placement companies, entry level work, and legal pyramid schemes. These papers are mostly good for making a slightly warmer street mattress, cleaning windows, disposing of chewed gum, folding origami, etc. Take a few and dump them in a recycling bin.
The Georgia Strait and the West Ender give local news primary focus. Both papers write local news and opinion pieces, and both of their classifieds run employment opportunities. The Georgia strait also runs a free "I Saw You" article.
Exclaim!, Discorder, The Skinny, and other publications are exclusively about new music and movies.
You can legally buy seeds from the Seed bank or the Marijauna Party Library on Hastings st. Both these places stock some other legal drugs to possess like salvia, shrooms, and peruvian torch cactus (mescaline). The Amsterdam cafe is a toking lounge and for $5/head you can smoke pot in the MPL's "Vapor lounge".
Every April 20th, July 1st, and August 15th (?) the Marijuana Party hosts a gigantic pot festival, at the Vancouver Art Gallery and then various locations. Buying pot is easy here, but getting high off second smoke is even easier.
Grow your own plant! You can have 2 pot plants legally for purpose of consumption. Bring it out to our 420 celebrations and score a free ounce to smuggle back home.
Do not ask strangers for pot in the downtown core, regardless of our city's reputation for having it.